Sheriff's office identifies bodies found in canal, likely connected to abduction case
PORT ALLEN – The sheriff of West Baton Rouge said two suspects tied to the kidnapping of a woman in Lafayette tried to run from the law in the wrong parish and it cost them their lives.
The two men likely drowned in the Intracoastal Canal when they tried to evade deputies who were on their tail Sunday afternoon. The bodies were not found until Monday evening.
One of the two men was identified as Sylvester Bracey of Jackson, Mississippi. The second suspect was identified Wednesday as 27-year-old Arsenio Haynes, also of Jackson. Both were found dead from apparent drownings.
The sheriff's office says both men have extensive criminal histories.
The two men drove the woman presumably from Lafayette where she had been taken earlier Sunday and exited I-10 at La. 415 after encountering traffic. While using the shoulder of the interstate west of the exit, an Iberville Parish Sheriff's deputy attempted to stop the men and their van but they sped away. Iberville enlisted the help of West Baton Rouge when the men drove into the next parish and exited the interstate where they then abandoned the vehicle and ran off. It was inside the van where West Baton Rouge Sheriff Mike Cazes said the woman was found safe.
After a few hours of searching, Cazes said his team suspended the manhunt for the night and then learned of two bodies being found in the canal Monday.
Cazes said the bodies were found in the canal near where the men were seen running on surveillance video.
“No crime was committed here. Other than that if we would have caught them, I would have charged them with being a fugitive from Lafayette. Other than that, they just ended up in the wrong parish,” Cazes said explaining that he has handed the case over to authorities in Louisiana's Acadiana region.
Police in Lafayette have released little information.
Earlier this week, they announced information about what appears to be a third suspect. Lawrence Michael Handly, 49, is wanted on charges of kidnapping, attempted kidnapping and violation of a protective order. Handly and the unidentified woman had a domestic issue between each other.
It's not clear how Handly might be tied to the bodies found in the canal.
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